|Genres:||Blues Doo Wop Jazz Musicals & The Arts|
|Tags:||jazz female vocalists blues jazz vocal vocal jazz swing|
|Decades:||1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s|
23 June 1909, Louisville, Kentucky, USA, d. 13 September 1981, Santa Monica, California, USA. Coming from a happy, close-knit, musical family, Humes learned to play trumpet and piano. As a child she sang with the local Sunday school band, which boasted future jazz stars such as Dicky Wells and Jonah Jones. In 1927 she made her first records for the OKeh Records label in St. Louis. Humes then went to New York where she recorded again, this time accompanied by James P. Johnson, and worked for several years with the orchestra led by Vernon Andrade, star of Harlems Renaissance Ballroom. She also recorded with Harry James. In 1937 she was offered a job by Count Basie but turned it down because the pay was too meagre. The following year she changed her mind and signed up, replacing Billie Holiday. Her recordings with Basie mixed attractive performances of poor-quality songs and marvellous versions of the better material she was given. She left Basie in 1941 to...